Cannabidiol (CBD) is increasingly used to help treat medical conditions ranging from physical to psychological pain. But CBD oil is expensive and can come from questionable sources.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health found 62% of CBD users are doing it medicinally. And there are videos all over the internet of people reporting positive benefits using CBD to treat epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and more. My grandma has been using CBD to help sooth the aftereffects of her stroke too.
It’s not all anecdotal – unlike THC, CBD is mostly legal in the U.S., as is hemp. This means we have a bit more scientific research available. The compound has positive reports in studies from the World Health Organization, Harvard Medical School, and many more. The FDA even approved a CBD medication called Epidiolex.
But a small, 1 oz/30ml bottle can cost up to $300, depending on the strength. It’s not something many people can justify buying regularly. It doesn’t help that a lot of people are in the industry for a cash grab and not concerned about quality.
Making your own CBD oil at home ensures quality control and lets you create a better product, as you’ll get more than just CBD in your mix. DO NOT VAPE THIS CBD OIL RECIPE. If you want to make vape oil, you need to replace the oil with VG and the sunflower lecithin with PG.
All it takes is raw cannabis, which until recently was forbidden everywhere without a medical marijuana program. But that changed last year.
Thankfully, the growing legal cannabis industry makes it easier than ever to make your own CBD at home. Now unfortunately you can’t legally grow cannabis (whether it’s legally considered hemp or not) without a license. But, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, low-THC/high-CBD “hemp” buds are available from companies like Tweedle Farms, which is where we start our journey.
Choosing Your CBD Buds
Look at these buds. They look and smell just like cannabis. That’s because they are – the difference between cannabis and hemp is different, depending on whether you’re talking to a lawyer or botanist. Both are the same plant.
A cannabis plant needs to contain less than 0.3% THC to be legally considered hemp, which means some strains (or the males of any strain really) qualify as hemp. Of course, “hemp” is actually a term best used to describe the woody plant parts of any cannabis plant, regardless of THC levels. It’s the fibers we use to make ropes, paper, clothing, food, and more.
But legalities matter, so we can now gain licenses to farm hemp buds the same way as any other cannabis. Here’s the cannabinoid profile of Lifter, one of the three strains we got from Tweedle Farms.
The total cannabinoid profile of 20.37% is excellent, as we know our CBD oil will ultimately contain about 200mg of active ingredients per gram. And what we have above is three eighths (~10.5g) of three separate strains to make a full-spectrum CBD oil.
Ultimately, we’ll end up with a little over 2100mg concentrated into 16oz of oil, which comes out to 16 bottles of ~150mg full-spectrum CBD oil. Each of those bottles would cost you $25-50 retail, giving you $400-800 worth of CBD oil with minimal work and a small investment on ingredients.
Now you don’t need to use buds – trim will do fine. If you have a ton of it from processing cannabis all harvest, this is a great way to use it.
Here’s what else you’ll need.
CBD Oil Recipe and Ingredients
- 3/8 Ounce Cannabis
- 16 oz Oil (coconut, olive, avocado, even MCT works)
- 1 tsp Sunflower Lecithin
- Preheat oven to 225F
- Decarboxylate your buds by spreading evenly on an oven tray lined with foil.
- Place tray in oven and bake for one hour, raising temp to 240F after 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
- Grind your cannabis buds.
- Place the ground cannabis in a mason jar, add oil and sunflower lecithin
- Place your closed jar in a pot of cold water. Boil for 2 to 3 hours on stovetop.
- Strain oil through Cheesecloth to remove plant particles.
- Seal and store.
Now keep in mind, this is just a base recipe. You can substitute any oils you want, but remember these oils can’t be safely vaped in a vape pen. Vaping oils will give you lipid pneumonia, as vape juice is actually made from vegetable glycerin (an alcohol, not an oil) and polypropylene glycol (used to bond ingredients and cause the “smoke” feel of a hit).
Again – DO NOT VAPE THIS CBD OIL RECIPE. If you want to make vape oil, you need to replace the oil with VG and the sunflower lecithin with PG.
And, as with anything cannabis, feel free to add any additional herbs you’d like to the oil. Lavender and other calming herbs are great with CBD and Indica cannabis strains. Citrus and energetic herbs are great with THC and Sativa cannabis strains.
Economics of DIY CBD Oil
As for the final product, we put some in the little 10z/30ml eyedropper bottles to see how they compare to bottles purchased for $50-100 each.
In the pic on the left, the eyedropper on the left is our ~150mg mix, while the one on the right is a 500mg bottle we purchased for $75. Each eighth from Tweedle Farms cost $30, for a total of $90 (although we were given the buds for free for media review, so we actually spent $0). From that, we extracted 2100mg of full-spectrum CBD oil, or roughly 4x the amount we would’ve bought, for about $300 worth of CBD oil.
This means we can theoretically sell half our supply to make enough money to repurchase the ingredients to make another bath. That leaves 8oz/1050mg of CBD for personal use. And our CBD oil is made from fresh ingredients. We’re in control of the dosage and saving money doing it.